News,  Politics

Religious Liberty Dies at Hobby Lobby

Here’s the bad news from The Beckett Fund website:

Today, a federal court denied a request to halt enforcement of the abortion pill mandate which forces the Christian-owned-and-operated Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., to providethe “morning after pill” and “week after pill” in their health insurance plan, or face crippling fines up to $1.3 million dollars per day

Hobby Lobby is the largest and first non-Catholic-owned business to file a lawsuit against the HHS mandate.  The Green family has no moral objection to the use of preventive contraceptives and will continue covering preventive contraceptives for its employees. However, the Green family’s religious convictions prohibit them from providing or paying for the abortion-inducing drugs, the “morning after” and “week after” pills, which would violate their most deeply held religious belief that life begins at conception.

You read that right. The United States Government is forcing these Christian business owners to pay for abortion inducing drugs in their employees’ insurance plans. It doesn’t matter that the law violates their religious liberty to conduct business in a way that is consistent with their conscience. Obamacare mandates that these Christians comply or face fines that would put them out of business.

When the controversy over the abortion mandate erupted earlier this year, the American public by and large got the impression that this was about conservatives who wanted to ban contraception. Nothing could be further from the truth. No one wants to outlaw contraception. This controversy is about the fact that the government is forcing pro-life business owners to pay for chemical abortions. It is perhaps the most egregious violation of religious liberty in the history of the United States, yet I’m wondering if anyone is paying attention. Wisdom is crying in the streets. Can anyone hear her?

This cannot stand. This must not stand. This fight is not over. Not by a longshot.


  • dr. james willingham

    It is enough to enrage even the sweetest saint. I live just a 55 minute drive down the road where one of my ancestors fought in the American Revolutionary War Battle of Guilford Courthouse. He did not do this for to produce a government that would deny the right to those who practiced his faith. I call for the arrest and trial for treason fo the judge in seeking to deprive Hobby Lobby folks of their right to practice their faith. His actions and those of the party that passed such law and of the President who signed it into law is criminal in the highest degree.

    • James Russell

      And I live a few hours from where one of the biggest battles of the Civil War was fought, in Gettysburg, PA. My ancestors did not die so that a group of people, for whatever reason, could defy the lawfully elected government and do what they want in the name of their religion, in effect, seceding from the rest of the country.
      I call for the arrest, trial, and imprisonment for treason of anyone who says that their ‘religion’ trumps the law of the land, a law upheld by the Supreme Court and supported by a majority of Americans (remember, WE won the election).
      No one is denying the Hobby Lobby their right to practice religion, and you people know it. They’re forcing them to provide healthcare to their employers, again, a law upheld by the Supreme Court, and nothing about that law says a person can’t worship how they want. It DOES say they can’t force others to worship the way their boss tells them to.
      God bless us, amen.

        • James Russell

          Again, respectfully, your attitude is what the problem is. You’re saying it’s your way and no other. That’s un-American in my opinion. We are a melting pot of ideas, nationalities and cultures. When you say yours is dominant, the ‘right way’, or the only way and that everyone else should conform to your beliefs, you’re not living the American promise or upholding for other Americans.
          I think you need to start becoming more tolerant of others.
          I also, as a Republican, blame you and like thinkers for the defeat at the polls. Although I voted for the winner, I believe that the party has been hijacked by you and your kind, and that you, ultimately, will be the downfall and destruction of the Republican party.

          • Greg Baldwin

            The simple issue is that the owners of Hobby Lobby (HL) do not desire to pay for the “morning after” or “week after” pills through the insurance plan that they pay (at least part of) for their employees. Also, they use some of their money to assist groups that support pro-life and other predominantly Christian political stances. So, HL’s owners are clearly expressing their protected religious freedom by these stances.

            Last I knew, they weren’t PREVENTING any of their employees from purchasing and using the “morning after” or the “week after” pills, if they so chose. Nor are they preventing any of their employees from seeking or obtaining employment from another entity that has no issue with paying for such medical “necessities” through their offered health insurance.

            So, tell me again who has to be the responsible party and pay for these forms of birth control, which are available over-the-counter and cost between $10 and $80? The employer’s insurance? Really? When are they going to pay for my aspirin?

            • James Russell

              And I don’t desire to pay for wars I don’t like and excessive taxes and tons of other stuff, but it’s not about what I or they want. It’s about a regulatory procedure that businesses must follow, or pay the penalty. Simple. Religious views have zero, nothing to do with this conversation about providing healthcare benefits. If they want to do business here, they must follow the laws, you know, the ones I’ve repeatedly mentioned, that our courts have upheld. If just one single solitary employee wants this benefit from Hobby Lobby, they are entitled to it, no matter what the religious views of its owners are.

              • David Rogers

                Dr. Dave
                So, sir, are you saying that you ONLY ethic or morality is mindless obedience to the law? I am thankful that our founding fathers lived by a higher ethic.

                • James Russell

                  No, and please don’t insult anyones intelligence by deliberately pretending to misunderstand. I’m saying YOUR ethics and morality is what guides YOU, not ME or ANYONE ELSE.

              • Jeff Pennington

                Jeff Pennington If you are so fired up about following laws, then all illegal aliens should be arrested and deported, no exceptions.

          • Karen Armstrong

            Karen Armstrong

            God does not tolerate sin as He named it in His Holy Word, and neither should we. He is the Creator of this world and thereby has the final say. Forget ridiculous, big government laws….as a HUMAN BEING we cannot take this madness! They should be able to provide whatever they want to their employees…it is their choice to work there or not.

            • James Russell

              So they should be able to pay sub-minimum wage? They should be allowed to have a company store and housing where they charge exorbitant prices, and rents, thus enthralling their employees? They should be allowed to control their employees’ lives to the point where the company owners choose the religions and life practices for the people who work for them? They should be allowed to hire exclusively attractive women, or white males or maidens? They should be allowed to promote only the WASPS?
              See, the labor laws DO work for people, and no one should be allowed to pick choose which ones they will obey.
              Please show me anywhere that God says it’s okay for employers to…”provide whatever they want to their employees..” or that employers are in any way their master. I think you’re mistaking the employer/employee relationship for the way owners treat slaves.

        • Liz Bohn

          The morning after pill does NOT cause an abortion. It causes eggs not to release, so that the sperm can’t fertilize them. The morning after pill is birth control, not abortion.

      • janice buchanan

        Janice Buchanan Remember there is a difference between health care and abortion. One is health, the other is murder.

    • Scott

      No, they absolutely should not. They have more options in fighting this and they should avail themselves of all legal means to fight this.

  • Joe Blankenship

    Has Hobby Lobby issued a response as to what they are going to do? In the book of Jeremiah we hear these words: “The whole land is made desolate but no man lays it to heart.” May the Lord help His people to listen to Him and may preachers be raised up to help us know what to do.

      • Brennon Hartshorn

        That’s what I would do. Make a statement. Say you hate to do it, but you have to in order to fulfill your religious convictions. Cut everyone in your workforce to 30 hrs a week and make up for the other 10 hrs per person with the savings from not having to pay ft benefits.

        The Obama administration and these activist judges who are clearly violating the first amendment are monstrous.

        • Becca Anderson

          It’s nice to think dropping everyone to 30 hours and raising their pay will solve the problem, but that still leaves the company short 10 hours per person per week — um… where is that going to come from? Same pay for 25% less work doesn’t keep Hobby Lobby in business, either. I agree with those who commented that the fight is not yet joined, and will be critical to many when it is. This needs more than a bandage… it needs surgery, rehab and complete healing.

      • Craig Smitham

        I think that is morally untenable. I absolutely believe it is within Hobby Lobby’s right to choose not to provide abortifacients etc. through it’s health plan, but to deprive all employees of all the benefits a health plan provides, in spite of objections, is not very pro-life.

      • Mark

        I am certainly glad they are appealing it. This administration has clearly over-reached in its authority. Whenever we are forced to pay for anything or face some punitive punishment like jail, we cease to be a free people. With the Obama-care bill, we are no longer a free society.

        I really like this store. I hope it does not follow in the wake of the “Twinkie” as that would be a travesty. But frankly, that also has to be an option.

        You have to wonder what Washington,Adams, Jefferson, Hamilton, and the other framers of the Constitution would be saying right now.

      • Beth Poche

        That is what many other companies have done and are doing. It is not about healthcare, it is about forcing people to go against their religious belief. This country is supposed to allow for that. It does not anymore if the belief is a Christian belief. Only if it is of some other faith belief. However, it is partly our own fault, because we have not stood up against it in the small things that now we are facing the big things. We as Christians must wake up and stand together against things like this and support companies like Hobby Lobby and Chick – fil – A and others who honor God!

      • Barry Deutsch

        They could simply stop offering insurance coverage at all, and pay the fine (which is expensive, but that would be offset by the huge savings of no longer paying insurance. Unless this business is already on the verge of going bankrupt, the claim that paying a fine will drive them out of business is not credible.). Their employees would then qualify to buy insurance through the new Health Insurance Exchanges that Obamacare is scheduled to start in 2014.

  • Brandon

    I own my company and will stand on my beliefs if it means reducing employees to part time and cutting out bonuses. I’m being taxed so much it is choking all the profit out of the company. America is reaping what it has sewn. Stand up for what is right or we will fall and we won’t be the first. We’ve turned our backs on the Creator. It’s a shame, this country could be so great, but only if we change our way of thinking. America is not going to stand much longer and this administration is pushing it as fast as they can down the tubes. How can they be so blind?

    • Jackie Holbrook


    • Cheree Smith

      Cheree Smith:

      Cutting the numbers of employers not only effects the quality of work that is given to the customer. But, the staffed are over-worked and frustrated. People are very thankful to have a job in the economy we are in. Everyone hang one to what you have things will be worse.

  • Matt Rawlings

    It is sad but, to toot my own horn, my legal ministry, Alliance Defending Freedom, have won two injunctions against “Obamacare” on behalf of Hercules, a Catholic owned hvac business in Denver, and Tyndale Bible Publishers.

  • Don Johnson

    I do not think this will be the last salvo in the war on religious liberty either. It is abundantly clear that Obama does not even understand the problem and I heard he has been using “freedom to worship” instead of “freedom of religion” which has implications that no religion that affects one whole life will be even acknowledged as possible, let alone legal.

    Remember that the lesson of Nazi Germany is NOT that Germans were bad people, it was that such a thing could happen in a nation that was highly cultured with some teaching the gospel.

  • Brent Walker

    Denny, do you think it is ethically a different to pay for the insurance than to pay the fine that will then go to paying for the insurance? I also think cutting the hours if you can afford to pay those hours is ethically wrong – that’s hurting a lot of families. It’s a tough time to be a Christian business owner.

    • Timothy Kleiser

      Brent, perhaps one option would be to cut the worker’s hours to part time BUT give them a pay raise to help offset the reduced income. That would signal that Hobby Lobby both cares about their convictrions and their employees.

  • bibchr

    I just wonder how many will smugly express outrage at this move, while not expressing shame and repentance over having themselves failed to resist and oppose Obama by voting for Romney.

    • J O E B L A C K M O N


      I totally agree with you but do you think Romney actually would have overturned or repealed Obamacare? I would like to think so and I would have hoped so but I’m not sure he was nearly as conservative as Christians would have wanted. I think he was more of a moderate.

    • David Thomas

      Oh, there will be many who will be aghast but never admit their apathy or misplaced convictions about electing a Mormon. Some people simply cannot be warned.

      We all knew this type of thing was coming, and Romney would have been little better than a bandaid. I did what I could. Now let the Lord do what He can, even if it means returning to call this sorry mess called human history finished.

  • Nancy Bailey

    We need to pray!! Hobby Lobby cannot compromise their moral integrity that life begins at conception! If we don’t stand up against this attrocity, we will fall to even more violations of our religious liberties!!

  • Mark Borofsky

    Brent, it seems to me that you are not a business owner and if you are, then you fail to understand that the Greens do not own Hobby Lobby, they manage it. As managers they are accountable first and foremost to the owner and the owner is our precious Father. Given that He is the owner they are obliged as His children to insure that it is run fairly, honestly, and faithfully.

    The choice is, do they pay a fine of 1.3 million a day (which is extortion in my view and would equal 474 million a year) or pay the additional costs to provide for a pill that chemically kills babies. The other option is to take all their employees to under 30 hours per week and by pass this illegal and evil law. However, even of they do that, they have enough full- time managers in all their stores that would require them to still by the insurance. In short, unless they prevail in an appeal and taking it all the way to the supreme court, they have no way out of this short of closing down. So, it is in everyone’s best interest, especially those of us in Christ, that they prevail. If not, you may very well see Hobby Lobby close and the. You have over 900 people without jobs.

    • Brent Walker

      Certainly a successful appeal would be ideal. I like the idea of dropping hours and raising pay, but I imagine as time goes on that they will put further restrictions on companies to close any loopholes. Time will tell. And no I am not a business owner – just trying to put myself in Hobby Lobby’s shoes. I would not pay for abortions, but it would be tough to lay off workers or drop pay if that’s what it came to.

  • Charlie

    I can’t help but question the view of businesses expressed by the judge. Who owns a business? The owner or the government? From what you get from the judge it is like the owner’s beliefs and convictions ends at the entrance of the HIS OWN STORE. Is my business MY property? From the sounds of the judge the answer would be no! It is the property of the government. Am I wrong is seeing this?

  • Ryan

    Hobby Lobby’s insurer pays these costs, not Hobby Lobby Directly.A company should not inscribe religious ideology into the health care decisions of their workers, that opens a door for all sorts of ritualistic lunacy. Imagine a company owned by Jehovah’s Witnesses that sued the government for being forced to carry blood transfusions, or a Hasidic Jewish company that refused to pay for a gay couples adopted children’s insurance based of a religious objection to their adoption. Imagine a Purist Christian sect refusing to pay for cancer treatment because it is “playing god” and ergo objectionable to their faith based healing beliefs. Freedom of religion is just as much about freedom FROM religion, a company who is required by law to hire on non-discriminatory policies should not be able to dictate to their employees either their direction of affordable health care policy or its innate morality. Slippery slope. This is religious madness at its finest, freedom from the government but not your employer, lol.

    • Denny Burk

      Wrong. Hobby Lobby pays for the insurance. The chemical abortions are then provided by the insurer. The money is fungible. And the insurers will set their premiums at whatever price it takes them to do business–a business which includes providing abortion inducing drugs.

      • Caleb W

        You ignored Ryan’s very valid points about JW’s not wanting to pay for blood transfusions, etc. Where do you draw the line what you think is religious liberty with paying for healthcare?

          • Caleb W

            So now prospective employees need to investigate the religious convictions of prospective employers before deciding if they should apply? Do you not see how ridiculous and misanthropic you sound?

            • michaelnaak

              No, they shouldn’t have to investigate the religious convictions of prospective employers, nor should they. But they should ask if they provide insurance benefits and what those benefits are. If they don’t like them, then they can look else were. Do you have a job with benefits? Wasn’t this something you wanted to know on the front end?

              Oh, and congrats on knowing $.50 words. I’m sorry that my view of personal liberties for all sounds hateful to you. Forcing people to give up their freedoms must sound much more loving to you.

      • Barry Deutsch

        It’s telling that you don’t address many of Ryan’s points.

        Are you sure HL pays for 100% of insurance? Most employers require an employee contribution as well. Plus, there are co-pays, which are paid for by the employee.

        In addition, what is the difference between this “fungible” indirect payment, and the indirect payment when HL pays an employee in money, that the employee then spends on Plan B? In either case, HL is paying only indirectly for Plan B. In either case, the ultimate decision-maker is the employee, who is choosing what to do with their legal compensation. Why is one objectionable, but the other not?

    • J O E B L A C K M O N

      Ryan Abernathy,

      They pay the insurance for these abortive medications. They are therefore directly responsible and, as Christians, are rightly opposed to having to pay for abortions.

    • David Thomas

      Ryan, you are also pretending like this conviction is arbitrary and made in something of a religious vaccuum. The reality is that the early Christian fathers nearly 2,000 years ago directly addressed the use of abortifacient drugs and condemned it. Abortion is very much a hot button issue, and not at all settled. There is a world of difference between a fringe group like the JW’s (who interpret transfusions as “eating” blood) and great swaths of our society who object to abortion on demand. To not only impose it by law but actually penalize people who refuse to enable others in a practice that grossly violates nearly 2 millenia of conviction, well, /that/ is the slippery slope.

      Do you think it will stop here? A host of other freedoms including press, assembly, and speech, to name a few, what in the stocks. If the government can determine by its criteria and not yours which of your convictions regarding those liberties are legitimate and which are illegitimate and will be penalized, well, we are in big, big trouble.

      • Caleb W

        It also seems like a slippery slope to let the individual conscience of an employer determine the kind of health coverage that an employee receives. Tim Challies thinks that the birth control pill causes abortions. If he, or people like him, had female employees, should he be allowed to deny them that? Even those who may be on the pill for other heath reasons? How much meddling should employers be allowed?

    • Angie Bush

      Hobby Lobby has 900 employees… This is most definitely a self-funded company. There are two types of insurance – Fully Insured (small business, usually up to 150/200 employees max) in which the insurer DOES pay for the services and the employer pays the insurer. The second type is Self-Funded. For most companies around 250 employees and above, Self-Funded is much more cost effective. They pay the claims themselves up to a certain threshold, and then a stop-loss carrier picks up the excess. In the case, the owners would absolutely be paying for the drugs.

  • David Thomas

    What came to me last night were the words of two kings of Judah, Hezekiah and Jehoshaphat.

    “This day is a day of distress, of rebuke, and of disgrace; children have come to the point of birth, and there is no strength to bring them forth. ~ 2 Kings 19:3

    “For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” ~2 Chronicles 20:12

    Time for a different approach…only God can show us what that approach is.

  • Danielle Jones

    in the opening paragraph you stated that Hobby Lobby was a “Christian-owned-and-operated” store, and later went on to state, “Hobby Lobby is the largest and first non-Catholic-owned business to file a lawsuit against the HHS mandate.” now to my understanding, Catholicism is under the “Christian” umbrella…this makes it a bit confusing to read. But, beyond that, you are simply thinking in terms of, if i buy this-everyone will use it. I wonder how many employees are male? how many cannot have kids? is any of this being taken into consideration? Just because they must make it an OPTION does not mean people will USE it…i think bringing to light more “Christian” issues seems like the better thing to do, lets discuss education in the U.S. lets talk about the number of homeless people that would love for you to move beyond your keyboard to a shelter to help them.

    • Kaye Brokaw

      Really? I did have the priviledge of working for HB years ago. Most of the workers are female except for management. The statement does not mean that Catholicism is not a Christian religion but pointed out that it is the largest non-catholic which is noteworthy because many Protestant churches do not take the stance against abortion or birth control. You must not have any idea what an important decision this is. That is how Hitler started his influence.

      • Jake Bowman

        Loud and extreme arguments only make people angry. Especially when you are comparing providing birth control to killing millions of Jews.

        • David MacKenzie

          No, she was comparing providing abortion services to the Holocaust, which is actually apt, although (sadly) even “minor” by comparison; while Hitler killed his millions, America has killed her tens of millions.

        • medinamom

          An abortion pill isn’t birth control. This article clearly states that the Greens aren’t against birth control; they are against pills that cause conceived and living children to be thrust out and killed.

          • Jake Bowman

            I’m pretty sure being aborted is way better than being forcefully taken from your home and loved ones, tortured and forced to work in a slave camp for months on end with little to no food and then executed in some grisly fashion. Do not compare this to the Holocaust. It makes me sick that you would even think it’s comparable. I’d take being aborted over that EVERY time. Please leave extreme opinions out of this debate.

            • medinamom

              I’m so glad that you are certain of what others would want. Or would get for that matter. #1, I’ve spoken with Holocaust survivors and heard them say that at least they have had a chance. I’ve also spoken with an abortion survivor, who is proud of her chance. Since I have heard multiple Holocaust survivors call this the new Holocaust, I’ll take their word over your opinion. You’re only supposing what you prefer. They’ve lived through it to know.

              #2 this is a Holocaust not only because of the unborn in general but because programs like this target race and income levels. These women are told that abortion is easier than adoption, nevermind the long-term psychological trauma or possible physical complications. We are the generations who throw away everything, and you wish to encourage us to throw away our children too.

    • Susan McIntyre

      Danielle, yes, Catholicism is Christian. However, the Catholic Church opposes chemical birth control in ANY form at all, including meds which prevent ovulation, which is certainly their right to do so; not sure about condoms, IUDs, etc. Protestant Christians, like me, believe that it is not morally wrong to take the Pill which prevents ovulation, but one which contains an abortifacient and ends a life which began at conception, is wrong.

    • Michael Naaktgeboren

      Most do not put Catholics under the Christian umbrella, well, at least not those who are educated in this area. Christian is used primarily for those of the Protestant tradition. Catholics refer to themselves as Catholics so as to separate themselves from those who have abandoned the mother church and pope.

      Members of the Orthodox Church would not normally go by the title Christian either, or Catholic.

  • Kristin Richardson

    I’ve been following the Hobby Lobby story and have a question. I understand the feeling that paying for insurance is contributing to the system of abortion. But why is the money paid to the insurance company considered “Hobby Lobby’s”? If insurance is a form on compensation, doesn’t that money technically belonging to the employee? Hobby Lobby is simply paying the insurance company directly on behalf of the employee.

    Hobby Lobby also pays its employees via paycheck. If an employee were to pay for an abortion or abortion causing contraception out of pocket, are they not also paying for it via “Hobby Lobby’s” money? Yet we wouldn’t say an employer has a right to hold stipulations for how an employee uses their paycheck.

    Again I understand the feeling that paying for insurance is contributing to the system of abortion. My question is who is actually the one paying into the system? Why are we assuming it’s the employer?

    Perhaps I am misunderstanding something about employer provided health insurance.

    Thank you.

    • Megan Dawson

      Bingo, Kristin. This is the point that seems to get lost in the outrage. When I agreed to work for my employer, I was promised a defined sum of money in exchange for the work I provide. Part of this money is disbursed to my bank account on a twice-monthly basis. Another part is disbursed to my health insurance company. And another part is disbursed into my 401K. This money does not belong to my employer. It is lawfully and properly mine in exchange for the work I’ve done, and is thus mine to spend as I see fit.

      The money going into health insurance premiums does not belong to the employer any more than the money going into a paycheck belongs to them. So if this is really about employers not “paying for” birth control, then why are they not attaching a rider to all paychecks forbidding employees from using that money to pay for birth control out-of-pocket?

      • Johnny Mason

        you forget that it is the employer who chooses the health insurance company that will be used by its employees as well as what said insurer covers. These decisions are used to determine the price of the insurance premium that is paid by the employer. Obamacare forces companies to buy insurance plans that the company would not have chosen before due to cost concerns or moral/religious beliefs.

        For example, say insurance plan A costs $500 a month and it included coverage for contraceptions, abortions, etc. Insurance plan B costs $450, but does not include those items. Hobby Lobby or another Christian owned company would choose insurance plan B. This would mean the employee if responsible for paying for those items out of pocket. With Obamacare all plans are insurance plan A and those companies now have no choice other than to drop health insurance benefits.

        Now if an employee bought their own health insurance outside of their employer, then they are free to get whatever they want.

  • brian

    hey, all of you self righteous idiots, the morning after pill is NOT chemical abortion, it is a strong contraceptive designed to delay ovulation to prevent fertilization, which can occur up to five days after sex, if not longer. if any of you had take 30 seconds to google this instead of reacting with moral outrage, you would know this. furthermore, any person’s rights stop when they infringe upon the rights of another, in this case, hobby lobby’s owner does not get to force their religious belief system on their employees. moreover, it is morally wrong to cut peoples hours because you don’t like a law. people who work in retail have enough difficulty paying bills without having hours cut in half.

    • Denny Burk

      The point you are making is actually disputed in the literature. Both the FDA and the Mayo Clinic still say that Plan B and Ella may prevent implantation, which is of course a spontaneous abortion. Also, the HHS mandate forces employers to cover IUD’s as well, some of which are abortifacients.

      • Kamilla Ludwig

        Hey Brian, if I’m a “religious idiot” are you a medical ignoramous? You cite only one of three possible ways in which The morning after pill can work. Two of those ways (delaying ovulation and changing the consistency of cervical mucous to inhibit sperm motility) are indeed contraceptive. But the third action, which Denny indicates, is indeed an early abortion (preventing implantation by changing the character of the endometrium).

        Try googling again.


        I’ll also mention Hosanna Tabor in the larger context of religious liberty. Mr. Obama, a former Constitutional law professor, understands religious liberty quite well. If he does not, all his former students deserve a full refund. The decision in H-T was a 9-0 slap down of the administration’s position, given in an amicus brief, an attempt to re-define the fre exercise clause aa a greatly diminished freedom of worship.

        The Constitution guarantees us the right to freely exercise our religion. That right doesn’t cease to exist because we employ “X” number of people for “X” number of hours. Those employees are free to exercise their one religious beliefs and make their own healthcare decisions. They just aren’t free to, with the government’s assistance, force their employer to subsidize those decisions.

        Lastly, not only is the administration’s position on religious liberty unprecedentedly narrow — the HHS mandate is completely novel and breathtaking in scope. Never has any government program forced employers to provide complete coverage for *all* FDA-approved drugs, devices and procedures. That means no formulary restrictions, no co-pays, no patient cost-sharing whatsoever. So, not only is it a moral concern, the HHS mandate will also be a huge driver of cost increases.

        It’s bad policy in every conceivable way.

  • BDW


    Why should a secular corporation be afforded protection under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act?

    When the ERLC backed RFRA in the early 1990s, they did so to protect individuals and religious institutions. Their intent was not to treat individuals and corporations as if they are the same thing.

    Let me ask this:

    Corporations like Hobby Lobby are required to pay taxes and adhere to a host of government regulations. Why is it an outrage to force a corporation to provide a health care plan that covers a drug you deem to be morally objectionable (abortion-inducing) BUT it’s perfectly OK to require a corporation to pay taxes that are then used to fund wars (also morally objectionable to many).

    Should a pacifist owner of a large company be able to opt out of certain government regulations/taxes that violate his/her conscience and moral duties?

    • Denny Burk

      The owners are Christians, and they view their business as a stewardship from God, not as a domain for the government imposition of secularism.

      Government is an institution ordained by God, and we are commanded to pay our taxes to it no matter what we may feel about it or what wars it participates in (Rom. 13).

      Obmacare is an entirely different matter. It’s not a tax. It’s a law requiring private business owners to purchase insurance.

      • BDW

        I’m not sure its possible to distinguish between a government regulation and government tax. Failure to abide by the regulation results in a fine which is a tax.

        What’s the moral difference? Both the pacifist business owner and the pro-life business owner are being required to fund that which they have strong, sincere moral objections to.

        How can you side with the pro-life owner but not care about the conscience claims of the pacifist? Religious freedom does not depend on whether something is classified as a tax or a regulation, right?

        Your Romans 13 argument is quite interesting. So Romans 13 requires individuals to pay government taxes but not abide by government regulations??? I’ve never ever heard that argument made and I research/study/teach church-state issues on a daily basis.

        You might need to think that through a little further. I’m pretty sure that Timothy George and the Manhattan Declaration crowd would tell you that there are indeed some taxes that require civil disobedience. You seem to be forgetting a good bit of Baptist history. Lots there on government taxes and religious liberty from Helwys to Williams to Backus to George Truett (who gets quoted in several different HHS lawsuits).

        • Tonja G.

          First, I don’t believe fines are the same thing as taxes – regardless, we are not commanded by God to follow and obey the government blindly. We obey the government only up to the point that they ask or demand that we disobey God. Like when Paul was told to stop preaching the gospel or face prison…He continued to preach, going against the demands of the government of his day, and ended up in prison for it…It’s a clear choice for anyone who gives the Word of God final authority.

  • Caleb W

    Whether or not a group with religous convictions is ‘fringe’ doesn’t matter in the argument. If you have a JW business owner who says it violates his religious liberty to pay for health insurance that includes blood transfusions, what will you do?

    • Johnny Mason

      if a JW business owner does not want to provide for blood transfusions, then it is his business and none of our concern. Why do people think they have the audacity to demand these concessions from their employers. Be glad that they provide any health insurance as a benefit at all. If you want blood transfusions or contraception or abortions then pay for it yourself. What we are witnessing here is tyranny and people are doing their best to rationalize it and explain it away.

      • Caleb W

        You do realize that the rest of the world’s developed nations provide for the healthcare of their populations. The nations that don’t aspire to. Except, of course, for conservative American Christians (of all people) and their libertarian bedfellows. Shame on you. Abandon your entitled individualism and show some grace and mercy to others.

  • TJ

    My heart aches and tears are falling. God is still on the throne. This may not have been what some wanted, but advance to the end of this story in Revelations in the Bible and remember who wins this ultimately and who the loser will be!

  • James Russell

    “No, you can’t deny women their basic rights and pretend it’s about your ‘religious freedom’. If you don’t like birth control, don’t use it. religious freedom doesn’t mean you can force others to live by your own beliefs.” President Obama

    • beckygladhill

      Nobody is denying these women anything. If they personally have a desire to go out and get the morning after or week after pill, no one is stopping them. They just have to be willing to pay for it themselves. I agree that having access to medical treatments of your choice has become a pretty basic right in this country. But I don’t agree that someone ELSE having to pay for it is a basic right. That is a false sense of entitlement that unfortunately is running rampant in our country nowadays.

      • Bob Marean

        I think it has been mentioned several times already, but apparently it needs repeating. The insurance is the employees to use as they need it. It is a benefit they have earned through their efforts. For appendicitis, broken bones, or morning after pills, or whatever else the insurance provides for. It is not the employer’s right to say I’ll pay for this or that, That is the insurer’s job.

        If you really feel strongly that these kinds of medication are wrong, then go after the source that provides it and convince them to no longer produce it.. Or… create your own insurance company.

        However, please, as a person in power, please don’t impose your particular values onto anyone else. That just isn’t right, or Christian.

      • Joe Dunfee

        The compensation package I receive in exchange for my labor, must by law, include abortion-inducing drugs. So, yesterday, I told my employer that I must decline my health insurance when the new policy starts on Jan 1.

        Note that my employer pays more than 95% of my insurance cost, so that will be about a $5,000 benefit loss. Furthermore, I have Type I diabetes, and complications from it, so I have ongoing medical needs.

    • Stephen Beck

      This doesn’t make financial sense. If you reduce hours for every employee, then you have to increase the number of employees at each store to make up for lost hours or you sacrifice the level of store quality (less customer service, ability to stock, etc.). So you end up paying more money.

  • Jennifer Medina

    I’m praying and hoping for a successful appeal. However, if that does not work, I think the next answer is to drop employees down to part time, which can be as much as 35 hours in some instances. With those hours cut down, they could hire additional workers to make up the time difference and also then be aiding in decreasing full unemployment. Just a thought, but I pray it doesn’t come to having to impliment such plans/thoughts.

  • Tonja G.

    I know that we can all pray…but, what can we do physically? Is showing support for HL all we can do for now? Seriously asking…how do we join the fight in the natural??

  • Bob Marean

    Religious Liberty for the Green’s did not die here. Their religious liberty is a private, individual matter, between themselves and the Lord, as they see it.

    Their religious freedom/liberty does not extend to controlling their employees beliefs or actions outside of the work place. Nor does it give them the right to make decisions regarding what kinds of insurance they will provide to their employees.

    I choose to be a Christian. That does NOT mean I have the right to make that decision for anyone else. Nor do I have the right to impose my value system upon anyone else. Just as no one else can force theirs on me.

    In this case, Hobby Lobby is a public, profit making company. As such, it is not a person, and does not have religious beliefs. Hobby Lobby is not the Greens, and the Greens are not Hobby Lobby. They must be seen as separate from one an other.

    The Greens as individuals are welcome to have any opinions and thoughts they wish. However, once they become part of a company, they must then follow the laws that are there for companies, and may not impose their values upon their employees, any more than they can tell them how to vote, or how to raise their children, or what they should have for dinner.

    Care to educate your employees as to what you believe is good, then put out a newsletter, clearly identify that it is just for educational purposes, and invite various opinions to encourage discussion. The Greens have every right to provide educational materials to their employees that they think will be helpful to them, but they do not have the right to force their opinions on to their employees. They do NOT have the right to tell the employees how to live their lives.

    • Johnny Mason

      Bob, your points would have merit if the employee purchased their own insurance, but since the company is paying for it or at least subsidizing it, then the company does have a say in it. It is their money and it is a benefit they are providing. You are basically advocating the opposite which is they the employee can impose their beliefs on the employer via a benefit that the company pays for.

  • Tracy Dill

    I think its appaling that business owners are being forced to do this. Does Obamacare say that employers have to cover bariatric surgery in their healthcare plans? NO! And because of this I believe my husband died. He suffered from health problems because of his weight and our company has a clause that prevents this surgery because they consider it cosmetic. Well, I consider the morning after/week after pill murder!! Does that matter?!!

  • Mark Dove

    “…no moral objection to the use of preventive contraceptives and will continue covering preventive contraceptives…”

    Of course if they have provided for the traditional preventive birth control pill then they have been providing an abortion-inducing drug all along.

  • Sue

    This is violating so many rights in America. First, they are stepping over religious freedom. Why should a company pay for something, that they have no say in to begin with? It’s not like the company is saying, no employees can have sex. Second, it’s just not their responsibility to pay for pills for sexually active people in dealing with pregnancy. A third thought, why should business owners, especially people who have physical issues that can not have a baby, pay for other to prevent/kill a baby they desire. The government doesn’t make it cheap for adoption, or pay anything toward the procedures for them. Seriously people….

  • Dan Swank

    Isn’t the government’s forcing of people to violate their religious conviction to provide an abortion pill a “violation of the separation of church and state” that the liberals are so fond of saying? And isn’t it morally wrong for the government to force any person or company to assist in the murder of unborn children? What a wonderful caring society we live in–NOT.

  • DCrosby

    If this law is upheld, I should be able to expect Indian restaurants to serve cow and kosher restaurants to serve pork, right? If you disagree, then kindly explain how believing a cow is sacred is more important than believing human life to be sacred? If the morning after pill doesn’t work, will companies be forced to cover an actual procedural abortion? The Beckett’s are the same kind of people who would have hidden Jews during the Holocaust. We call Jewish sympathizers heroes, because we cannot deny the attrocities of Hitler and the Nazis. Perhaps society is too close to this holocaust agaisnt the unborn to see it for what it is, but remember, it was a small minority of Christians who were responsible for preserving the lives of many of the Holocaust survivors still alive today. All it takes for bad things to happen, is for good men to stand by and do nothing…..some things should NEVER be tolerated.

  • Jess MacCallum

    As a business owner, I do NOT have any obligation to even offer health insurance as a “benefit”. All those kinds of things became popular during WWII when wage controls were in place. It’s a form of compensation. I wish we could dump healthcare… just a big waste of HR’s time and energy. Then it really simplifies the issues of faith and finance.

  • Paula

    It’s not just Hobby obby getting hurt by Obamacare, Owner of Applebee’s/ Red Lobster/ Olive Garden said he was going to cut hours so as to not have to use the health care as well. we are going to loose many jobs in the near future, and many people are going to go in hiding to avoid fines for not getting Obamacare that they can not afford.

    • Lloyd Spence

      Guys, let’s get this in perspective. It’s not 900 employes. There are over 500 Hobby Lobby stores, and each store has at least 2 full-time managers/co-managers. Then there are at least 2 full-time employees in the frame shop and another 5-6 full-time employees between the other departments and CSM. Then there are 2-5 part-time employees in each frame shop (yes, I work in one of their frame shops), and at least 1-2-3 part-time employees in every other department in the store.

      You’re talking at least 4000-5000 full-time employees here. The Greens have done quite well, and the Lord has indeed blessed them.

      Where they will go and what they will do from here is anybody’s guess. They do not want to be part of killing little kids – that’s their religious belief. Since it’s their stores, they ought to have the right to decide where they want to spend their money. (And yes, they DID build them themselves, with God’s help. The gov’t was never much help much at all!!)

      Something the Libs don’t mention is that people DO NOT HAVE TO WORK AT HOBBY LOBBY – or any other specific place, for that matter. They’re free to work wherever they want, and with whatever company they agree with. (Granted, the economic climate is not good for trying to switch jobs right now!!! But, that’s not the point.) When you apply for a job, you ask about the health insurance and other benefits. If you don’t like the benefits that are offered, you are free to go try somewhere else. You can’t expect to force an employer to give you what you want, just because you happen to want it!!! That’s called insanity! You take what they’re willing to give you, and thank God for what you get! To attempt to force them to give you what you want is, simply put, stupid. If you want that, go start your own company!

      • James Russell

        It’s the federal government, you remember, the guys we elect who make our laws that are telling them they have to provide it, not the employees. If they don’t want to provide that, they can go somewhere other than America to start a business (by the way, good luck with that one).
        If you think that they built their business in a vacuum, without the help, protection, and infrastructure provided by the rest of the people of the USA, then it aint them thats stupit.
        Let them (and you, apparently) start their own country where they can make the rules, and let’s see how that one goes also. Good luck in NeverNever Land.

  • Phillip Tullis

    The ACLJ needs to be involved if not already. God fearing people had better support this effort. Support means prayer, signing petitions, money and taking action. Too many people that could have voted, didn’t , what a shame. Redeem the time, support Hobby Lobby and the ACLJ now, please. There is a war for FREEDOM going on. Fight it before it knocks on your door! Thankyou

  • Michael Naaktgeboren

    Hobby Lobby pays their employees better than most companies do. They have hundreds of stores. I say they lay everyone off and lock up. After a few weeks with so many people on unemployment and the controversy it causes, I bet there would be some changes in the law.

  • D. Arnold

    As this is [supposedly] STILL a free country, I would offer, suggest, and demand that those who BELIEVE Hobby Lobby to be in the ‘wrong’ to just go FIND A DIFFERENT PLACE TO WORK!

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